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Harden Not Our Hearts

An extract from Fr Rolheiser's column in the latest issue of Catholic News, entitled "Our real moral struggle":

The heart has its reasons... part of the heart's tortured complexity is its pride. We have proud hearts (for good reasons). Because of that pride, we are never far from being defensive, aloof, cold, assertive, suspicious, and paranoid. A very small slight can trigger huge reactions that can quickly make us shut doors inside of us.

...There's a biblical name for this, "hardness of heart".

Jesus warns against this everywhere. For example: He idealized children, warned about the dangers of not welcoming them, asked us to be like them, and laid hands on them. Scholars tell us that his laying hands on them was more than a simple gesture of affection... [it] is an ordination, a missioning. For Jesus, children are "missionaries" in that they reveal to others that discipleship consists in having a heart that is not yet hardened, but is still trusting, vulnerable, warm.... And therein lies one of the biggest moral struggles within our lives: To keep a mellow, warm, trusting heart when, as Pascal says, the heart has its reasons to want to chill and become aloof in order to protect itself. But that capacity to resist that impulse, to not turn cold, to not turn off, is, I believe, the real mark of maturity and even of faith. It's this that makes for a great lover.

For the most part, as we know, we're not there... But it's good to recognize that this is a broken place, a humble place, and a place from which we are invited, each day, to make a new beginning.

JUST FINISHED watching the movie Hero on TV.

Now i understand the various comments made about it a few years ago. Robert McKee praised it for its beauty and richness in meaning. Some complained that the whole storyline is very baffling. A classmate mentioned "multiple perspectives" and "what it means to be a hero".

i see now. The "red" PoV: A person can be very talented in many ways, and yet be crippled by his/her emotions. The "blue" PoV: Many heroes and heroines who sacrificed themselves so that Nameless, the would-be assasin, could sit within 10 paces of the emperor. The "white" PoV... oops! Forgotten the details (seem to be quite similar to the next). The "green" PoV: The differences in opinions (assumptions, conviction... whatever you'd choose to call it) between Flying Snow and Broken Sword resulted in their sad endings. The persistent question throughout the beautifully choreographed movie seems to be: "Who's the real hero?" Nameless (the assasin), Sky (who sacrificed himself and his reputation), Flying Snow (who could make a thousand arrows fall harmless onto the ground), Broken Sword (who believed that keeping the first emperor of the Qin dynasty alive was for the greater good of all under heaven) or the emperor himself (with his bold and 'wise' strategies)? The last -- historically known as a cruel tyrant -- could perhaps be considered to be a great ruler who helped to unify China and therefore "saved all under heaven".

Finally, i see yet another PoV: Would i (and many i know) be able to conquer my (their) pride or would pride one day conquer me (they)?

by tree#138680 on Mon Aug 28 06 2:10 pm | profile



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